Royal Navy warship HMS Diamond is today shadowing a Russian Navy spy ship as it passes through the English Channel.
The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer plus a Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton were dispatched to follow the Russian underwater reconnaissance ship Yantar as it approached the UK’s area of interest.
HMS Diamond met up with Yantar at 0900 today and will continue to monitor the vessel’s movements and activities as it continues north.
Commander Ben Keith, the Commanding Officer of HMS Diamond, said: “HMS Diamond is proud to be doing her part to protect the UK area of interest by monitoring the Russian vessel Yantar on its transit.
“This is routine business for the Royal Navy, and my ship’s company are well-trained and ready at short notice to deploy for such tasking.”
The Russian vessel Yantar is a specialist reconnaissance ship which carries two unmanned submersible vehicles, which can descend to the sea bed and send back images as well as collecting items from the bottom of the ocean.
HMS Diamond left Portsmouth in thick fog on Wednesday evening (30 May 18) in readiness to meet the Russian vessel, taking over from a French Navy ship which had monitored the Yantar’s progress through the Bay of Biscay.
As a high-readiness unit, HMS Diamond may be called upon at any time to help prevent arms trafficking, people smuggling, conduct counter-terrorism operations, maritime search and rescue, or escort duties like those she is undertaking today.